Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Prickly Smiles
One more day until Fright Night Superb. I was thinking about how ghost stories are told rather than read. Reading is fine, but there is a different element when someone knows her story and seeks to entertain. I aim for raconteur and seldom reach it, but the well-told-tale is a rich tradition in my family. All of my brothers and my sister also know how to speak a tall twister. It's a gift. As they spin, I sit silently taking mental notes, smiling, often jealous, usually enthralled in a strange dance of family solidarity, history and unexpected love - the kind that clots your throat and makes you want to run from the power of it. I truly love a good story.
Today, my son and I spoke of character driven story. He had read Eudora Welty's, A Worn Path. He said it had little or no plot but the character ... the character ... the character. "Yes," I said. "The character."
What about character in ghost stories? Is there much chance outside of a sketch, or is it all character and man's decay is the frightful part. From a Christian standpoint, so many characters are doomed, already in ghostly decay, save for the blood of the lamb. In the secular wold the picture is even grimmer for its superficial nature, and doing right for ... why exactly. A good feeling in my bones, perhaps. Admittedly, I'm not good with the secular end of the argument, so I'll stop here.
I think in a longer work character is central to a good tall tale. In a short work I am not convinced. By tomorrow, however, I may change my mind. Thanks for reading.

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